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Tuesday Wakeup Call: Special guest Matt Cooke

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m. — will feature Matt Cooke of the Penguins.

To listen, just click on TribLIVE Radio. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve also got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app.

The Trib’s Jerry DiPaola will the media guest, discussing a couple of rather large moves at Pitt in the past 24 hours. And, of course, the local Twitter icon @suckmeter will offer the Suck of the Week in Pittsburgh sports.

I want you involved, too. Email: or call me at 412-320-7925.

>> Here’s Trib columnist John Harris’ take on Opening Day at PNC Park.

>> Rushel Shell tells Pitt he’s out. Next question: To where?

If I’m Paul Chryst, I’m not being Mr. Nice Coach here. Pitt went above and beyond with Shell in his year-plus with the program, not least of which was carving out a healthy amount of carries as a true freshman even with Ray Graham in a starring role.

>> Another one out at Pitt is Agnus Berenato as women’s basketball coach. Made my feelings on Berenato known in a column last month. No need to pile on, so suffice it to say the university made the right move.

>> Who says the Islanders lack class? Witness Matt Martin vs. Tom Kostopoulos last night …

>> As I leave you, question of the day: If you could only pick between the two, would you rather have the Steelers sign Ahmad Bradshaw or draft a running back in the first round?

And yes, I mean, obviously, if Bradshaw is reasonably healthy.

>> I’ll cover Penguins-Sabres tonight, assuming Buffalo can still put out a full roster with all the trades they’re swinging the past 24 hours.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. Eddie Lacy is my guy.

    DK: First round?

  2. You had me at Wakeup Call!!
    I’ll be listening as always.
    By the way, nice column yesterday.
    I noticed you took the UNDER…

  3. Sign Ahmad Bradshaw a million times. Unless you’re talking Barry Sanders or Adrian Peterson, it’s just not worth using up a first-round pick. I don’t think Eddie Lacy is anywhere near that class.

    Speaking of running backs, that is a major bummer about Shell.

  4. If we’re not all careful, the Islanders are going to finish 2nd.

    • You know, that’s very possible as they have the talent. Don’t ever overlook that…it will bit you in the butt.

  5. I draft that guy who visited today. With a first name like Christine, he ought to be tough, a la A Boy Named Sue.

  6. Sign Bradshaw. Draft Ray Graham in 3rd round.

  7. — Shell seems to have some issues, dont want to guess what they are. If he doesnt want to be here, let him go………. but I feel it would be a mistake to transfer 2500 miles away from your gf/kids. Double shame if he wants to go play for Fraud graham.

    — Dont know what happened with Berenato. She was fine, then poof! , the recruits and wins stopped coming. Strange.

    — Since you phrased the Steeler question a certain way……. I would draft a running back. Bradshaw has injuries, not the type of player the Steelers should sign. But, I would honestly draft secondary help with the first pick, either corner or safety.

    — 16 in a row, baby !!! :)

    DK: Shavonte Zellous graduated. That’s what happened to Pitt. All the success under Agnus came when Shavonte was there, and now that Shavonte is winning WNBA titles, Pitt suddenly can’t beat a single opponent in the Big East.

    • DK, thanks. That does explain the wins part of it. I believe the recruiting dried up before the losing, which is odd also.

      I hope both she and Pitt do well in the future.

    • “DK: Shavonte Zellous graduated. That’s what happened to Pitt. All the success under Agnus came when Shavonte was there.”

      But didn’t a lack of replacing her and others through the recruiting process also happen?

      DK: Absolutely.

  8. Will Pitt go after Suzie McConnell-Serio? Seems like the logical choice, and I’m sure Pitt can pay her a lot more than the Dukes.

    DK: In theory, yeah. But the bar for women’s coaches doesn’t fluctuate much, unless you’re a Pat Summitt or Geno Auriemma. It’s not a revenue sport at either Pitt or Duquesne and, in fact, the Dukes usually draw even better.

  9. * Love watching hockey involving the west coast teams as I don’t have a dog in that fight and that just allows me to just watch and enjoy the games.

    * At least the news was positive about Paul Martin hand surgery now into the 4-6 weeks range and maybe Sidney Crosby can get out of the hospital already after oral surgery to fix some teeth and a broken jaw.

    * I honestly can’t remember the last hockey player in the hospital for this long for a “simple” puck to the face. Hate to be the buzz kill but I’m wondering why he’s been there since Saturday. Unless of course, he’s taken a liking to a nurse or two.

    * Had to laugh, got home and saw there was some talk about Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester possibly getting interest from the Flyers, only to see him traded to St. Louis a few hours later. If Blues make the playoffs, which they should, they are going to be a tough out with their top six blue line and quality forward depth. Just wish they didn’t have Ken Hitchcock as their head coach.

    * Was intrigued by news of Jarome Iginla already talking about wanting to stay and sign with the Penguins but that’s going to take some creative managing by GM Ray Shero and a willingness on the part of Iginla and his new teammates to take less money in the name of winning.

    * Not everyone is Sidney Crosby but if Iginla wants to return, I’m thinking 4-year $10 million deal would make the most sense financially as the team could pay him $4 million, $3 million, $2 million, and $1 million over those four years and at $2.5 million per season as a cap hit, it could fit as long as Malkin is taking the same cap hit as Crosby. I know a lot of conversation has been going around that Crosby has no problem if he’s not the highest paid player on the team. Sorry, no way that should happen.

    * It was an April 1st joke right… right? Tyler Kennedy to center Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis in the name of keeping the ’2nd’ and 3rd line together. Why not keep the 4th line together and just insert Dustin Jeffrey on that line and hope Crosby isn’t out for more than 3-4 weeks.

    * Rushel Shell is leaving Pitt, oh well. I don’t understand how a young man who is a father of twins thinks it is the right thing to do to leave the school that provides him the best shot to remain close, get a great education and train for a shot in the NFL. Now, if he goes to another major program, he’ll have to sit out a season and how is that doing him and his family any good with the delay and being away from his kids. There’s a whole lot more to this story than what is being reported. This thing has the smell of something dirty going on. Good luck to him.

    * Surprised it took this long to fire Berenato. Bad is bad, no matter the sport.

    * Susie… please pick up the white courtesy phone. “Sign this blank check, write-in a number and please fix this program.”

    * Pirates lost 3-1 to the Cubs… only 1 game…. only 1 game…. only 1 game.

    DK: Just to clarify, Iginla hasn’t said any such thing. Renauld Lavoie, the fine Quebec-based reporter for RDS, simply put out a tweet saying Iginla’s preference would be to stay with the Penguins, with the Kings being No. 2 on the list.

    In talking to Iginla myself, he’s made it VERY clear that’s the furthest thing from his mind at this juncture, which makes a lot more sense than thinking he’s plotted out some priority of teams for later this summer.

    • I think Sid being in the hospital was precautionary on account of his history with concussions.

    • You know that college football players are amateurs, and receive no salary – wink, wink

      But he does have those twins who may have suddenly found a path to their future education, which could be the smell who noticed. I would be happy for them actually.

      As for the Pirates, “Behold, Pittsburghers and Pirates fans at large – this is your team”.
      The details of each game will be different, as will the scores, but the result will be the same – absolute fan frustration (unless you love fireworks and bobble-heads), lack of clutch hitting, too many K’s, and the failure to take a base when handed to you, as in Travis Snider in the eighth and Garrett Jones in the ninth (in other words horrid managing).
      Pedro Alvarez is well-spoken, well-educated and a gentleman but he can’t play baseball for a major league team (who must rely on him), and he’s no Sandoval either.

      And Barmes, well . . . ., I’ll just say, he and this team are as exciting as wet cardboard.

      I must close with this; AJ pitched very, very well yesterday. Something upon which to build hope, I hope!

    • Eric, 4 years for a 35 year old? You must think shero took a puck to the face…don’t see that happening. And per new cba I believe year to year salary can only fluctuate 5%. So Im pretty sure paying him less and less each year really isn’t an option. Maybe DK can clarify…

  10. With H. Miller recovering from knee surgery, and the Steelers’ spot in the draft, I would draft Stanford TE Z. Ertz in the first round. He will be the next great NFL tight end, and would be a great heir apparent to Miller.

  11. I don’t see Eddie Lacey as worthy of a first-round pick. Bradshaw would be fine IF healthy. The Steelers don’t need anymore injury-prone players.

  12. Haven’t hada chance to share my thought on the Pirates upcoming season until not, so here goes:


    Despite yesterday’s lackluster performance, I think the offense can be at least average, if not above average. They do pose a formidable middle of the lineup and I think Marte has a breakout year.

    The pitching will be the team’s downfall. I don’t think AJ duplicates last year, McDonald is a real question mark and the 4 and 5 spots have the potential to be disastrous. The bullpen will not be as good as last year.

    I see a lot of comparisons between this team and the 2008 team before the trade deadline that year.

    Throw in a brutal first six weeks of the schedule, a typical poor bench and lack of depth, and the loss of the Astros in the division and I just can’t see this team ending the curse.

    • Big Ed

      Well said, I agree with everything you say except the win-loss record – it’ll be 72-90 at best. And when the trade deadline approaches, the priority will be to unload as much salary as possible so the BMTIB can rebuild for 2019.

      Despite all of this negativity, their income statement will be stronger than ever!!

  13. I’d say sign Bradshaw AND draft a RB. But, if I had to pick only one, draft a RB is my choice.

    Eddie Lacey would look good wearing black and gold. Not sure if he’s a round 1 pick though.

    What about signing Bradshaw and taking Marcus Lattimore in the 4th or 5th round?

  14. Nothing AT ALL about my beloved Pirates? Makes me even more depressed than another loss.

  15. I wonder how Rob Biertempfel feels this morning. No link from DK’s blog to the story that he covered yesterday. Not even a mention of that event….which was the Pirates’ home opener.

    Oh well, at least there is a hockey fight video and a question about the Steelers and the NFL draft that is still 3 weeks away. I guess Pirate fans aren’t demanding enough.

    Happy Off-Day!

  16. Pitt should look at Mike Morris for the girls basketball coach. he has put the Samford Girls basketball program on the national map.

  17. JAL’s From the Beginning Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Pirates Need to Play Travis Snider

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Preview: The Bullpen

    Bats Fail Burnett in 3-1 Opening Day Loss

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Opening Day: Strikeouts! And losing. Pirates fall, 3-1


    Game 1: Cubs 3 Pirates 1

    8 Pittsburgh Sporting News

    Pirates Notebok: New Look Lineup; Backend of the Pen Set

    9 Rumbunter

    Nine Reasons Why It Was A Great Opening Day At PNC Park

    Jeff Samardzija: The Newest “Pirates Killer?”

    10 Green Weenie

    Weather Hotter Than Buc Bats; Cubs Take Opener 3-1

  18. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Yahoo Sports

    April Fool’s? Rosin bag explodes on pitcher A.J. Burnett during game–mlb.html

    12 Baseball News Source

    2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Offensive Hopes Tied to Core Players

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Samardzija at his best in Cubs opener,0,3808973.story

    14 KDKA

    GM Huntington Looking Forward To 2013

    15 Charleston Daily Mail

    Minor Leagues: W.Va. Power roster is coming together

    16 USA Today

    The 10 best things about opening day

    17 Minor League Ball

    Prospect Retrospective: Jason Schmidt

    18 PBC Site

    Unable to back Burnett, Pirates drop opener to Cubs

    Inge healing quickly from broken shoulder blade


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    20 Fangraphs

    Assorted Quick Thoughts on Opening Day No. 2

  19. To answer the false choice of Bradshaw or first round RB, I’d go Bradshaw.

    Steelers have too many needs to reach for a RB in the first round.

    There is no Adrian Peterson in this draft. I like Lacy but there are better options at other positions at 17 – 32.

    And no matter how much I think, I have to take AB or 1st pick (presumably Lacy) – I just keep coming back to taking an RB in later rounds or immediately after draft.

    I’m curious as to the point of presenting the RB scenario this way. It frames a discussion, I get that. But there are so many more practical options at RB in mid-late rounds.

  20. A little FYI from the other Pittsburgh paper since the Trib is a little slow getting to any Crosby updates.

    Reports say Crosby’s jaw was repaired using titanium plates and screws. The doctors and surgeons are under contract with the Penguins to not disclose information regarding status of players. Another physician gave his analysis of the situation:

    “As long as he keeps his nourishment up — and he should since he’s not wired shut — he should be good to go in three to four weeks,” said David Dattilo, director of oral and maxillofacial surgery for West Penn Allegheny Health System.

    If all goes well in three to four weeks, Dr. Dattilo said, Mr. Crosby won’t even necessarily need special headgear to protect his jaw “because his jaw will be just as strong as before, and probably stronger because it will be metal-reinforced.”

    Another surgeon who has plenty of experience in such procedures also said this:

    How soon a hockey player gets back on the ice and tries to compete is based on “choices that people make,” Dr. Kellman said. “How much risk are they willing to take?”

    Dr. Kellman said he repaired a Syracuse Crunch minor league hockey player’s jaw using plates a couple of years ago, and the player was back on the ice a day later wearing a special modified helmet.

    Sorry if I scooped any story or info either DK or Rossi was putting together on this topic. I guess everyone is still reeling over the unexpected Pirates loss and Shell fiasco. I just don’t know how they’ll get back to the Compass Bowl again without him.

    • SJB, thanks for the info on Sid, I appreciate it :)

      • Thanks. Based on this info and what we know about Sid’s compete level. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in an actual game in 2 to 3 weeks. It’s just too bad there aren’t any left with Toronto. I think the real “Hockey Gods” would have enjoyed that. ;)

        One that note: Would be nice if the Pens could informally strike Carlyle’s name from it’s team history. Maybe they can hide it in a box in the basement with the Jagr jersey that will never be raised to the rafters.

        • lol good points.
          But I feel you’re right about Sid. With his compete level, he’ll get back as soon as he can.

    • Actually, the physicians caring for him cannot release any info on Crosby without his OK. While the Pirates may pay the bill, Crosby is their patient and his rights trump theirs in this instance.

      just clarification

      • I got this from the report:

        “UPMC spokesman Chuck Finder said UPMC’s contract with the Penguins, as well as with the Steelers, prohibits UPMC doctors from talking to anyone about any medical procedures involving players unless the teams authorize them. The Penguins are not allowing UPMC’s doctors to talk about Mr. Crosby’s surgery.”

  21. You made it easy Dejan. Most folks would take a reasonably healthy Bradshaw, and so would I. I have to admit I have no idea what is available in this draft, but one less “need” is always preferable.

  22. I would take Bradshaw and still draft a running back in the 2nd or 3rd round. Its been proven that like WR’s you can find RB’s in the later rounds.

    Interesting post on ESPN had one suggesting that the Steelers may target Tavon Austin from WVU with their first pick. He could fill multiple spots in the return game as well as WR.

    Has anyone signed Chris Rainey yet?

  23. I only want the Steelers to take someone in the draft, if he is the best available at one of our positions of needs. However, it would be hard for one to be against signing Bradshaw. As last year showed, one team cannot have too many capable running backs.

  24. Did I really read yesterday that HCDB is considering putting TK in the center spot between Dupuis and Kunitz? Or was I just having some kind of Alice in Wonderland bad dream? Curiouser and curiouser?

    • You read correctly. I agree with the previous post that we should put Dustin Jeffrey in Sid’s spot instead.

    • That would certainly put the Dupuis-and-Kunitz-don’t-need-Crosby argument to the test, eh?

      • Yes it would. And Shero just said that Jeffrey is “playing the best hockey of his career right now”. Also….isn’t it better to play a natural centerman instead of a winger who “used” to play center?

        • Sounds like a good enough argument to me, AL. I don’t really have an opinion. Leaving that up to those who know better like you.

    • DB loves him some TK….Last time i saw this kind of coach love for a player John Wehner was signing a contract for the Marlins.

      • Who would you plug in for Sid, Patrick? Just curious.

        • Neal/Malkin/Iginla

          And no Im not joking about benching Glass for Engelland either. Engelland can skate pretty well actually. He makes poor decisions in his own zone, takes horrible angles and loses his own guy when his back is to the net…but as ‘fire and forget’ winger meant to forecheck…i dont know…couldnt be worse or unproductive than Glass.

          • you benched dupuis!? :( Or did I miss the memo where he was traded?

          • Patrick, this is the second time in the past couple days that I have seen someone put out a line-up and forget Dupuis. Not sure why he is so easy to forget, but seems to be the trend.

            Two weeks ago I would’ve agreed with some others here on benching Glass and playing Engelland (I actually suggested it at one point), but I think Glass has played pretty well the last two games. He has been playing with speed and has been playing pretty well on the PK as well. Last thing I want is Engelland playing up front on the PK so he can screen MAF/Vokoun even more.

            As much as it terrifies me to have Kennedy playing center on the #1 line, he has been playing much better in the last two weeks. It will be interesting to see what he can do at the position. Not to mention, I’m sure that HCDB will be mixing up the lines all game as he always does so Kennedy could end up taking just as many shifts with the fourth line as he does with the first line.

            As another thought, could this be a tryout for other teams in order to trade Kennedy (possibly to recoup some of the lost picks for next year). Shero has until 3pm tomorrow (I believe) to make a trade and somebody else may want him.

          • I liked the idea of engelland moving to forward a couple seasons ago but with his steady improvement the last couple seasons engellands agent would throw a hissy fit of gigantic proportions if engelland agreed to such a move. 4th line winger/enforcer vs. depth Dman? Pretty clear engelland would be taking cash money out of his pockets for a move like that….

            @DK–Hoping all the best for your mom and family!

        • And how frightening is it that even after losing the best player in the world that you still have a top 12 that looks as good as anyone else’s in the league? People have to be so happy they don’t have to play against Sid until they look at who is still left.

  25. CW, yes you did. He’s friggin nuts.

  26. Does anyone know who will be in goal for us tonight?

    DK: Not announced yet. I’ll tweet from skate.

  27. Just looking at the early season Pirates schedule & I see that only 3 of the 1st 32 games come against teams that had a losing record last year. And they’ve already lost one of those. 18 of those 32 will be started by James McDonald, Jonathan Sanchez & Jeff Locke.

    When they leave Milwaukee on May 1st, I don’t think 10-22 is out of the question.

    • Logically? Sure.

      But if this team taught us anything last year it was that the opponent didn’t matter as much as you’d expect. They took series’ they should have lost and lost series’ every other team in the league were winning.

      Makes it fun, I suppose.

      • You’re so right about that. I just can’t remember being so indifferent about the start of a baseball season. Even yesterday, I was just kind of going through the motions. I guess finishing 21-41 & then bringing back the same core group that led you to that finish will do that to you.

        • Last sentence sums it up perfectly.

          Hard for guys that follow this team day in and day out not to be looking at August with everything up to that point being noise.

          Even if they come out of the gate world beaters, the most optomistic of fans will still have that little voive in the back of their head whispering.

        • +1

          If the team is about 30-50 at the All Star break, Huntington might get fired. If they are 50-30, I still won’t be completely invested in it because…well…they’re the Pirates. The wheels always come off. They just have been coming off later than usual.

    • Plus, I think you have to look at matchups more than just teams if you really wanted to make a guess. In case you had a few hours with nothing to do but project rotations a month out.

      We saw yesterday what a true #1 can do to this team. Facing Ryu/Harang instead of Kershaw/Grienke, Arroyo/Leake instead of Cueto/Latos, Kendrick/Lannan instead of Hamels/Lee, etc would make a huge difference.

    • would it be too optimistic to hope for 16-16?
      You know, Lightning in a bottle, hidden vigorish, maybe an exorcism?……

      • In my opinion, yeah, thats a bit much.

        I see this as a .500 ballclub, so for them to get there right off the bat against the hardest part of their schedule with weakest projected rotation of the year would be a tough task.

        Weather the storm like last year, something like 14-18, and catch a hot streak at some point.

        Gotta avoid the crushing losing streaks above all else. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see this club break .500 IF they don’t have a losing streak over 5 games.

        • That was the4 one thing AJ proved most valuable at last spring. I think i counted four times in the first three months he came in and stopped a 3 game losing streak. He never allowed them to get so far down. He really helped them avoid that tailspin that had plagued them for so many years.

          Man, they NEED AJ to be that guy. Question for the PBC crowd:

          For the Pirates to break the streak, AJ burnett will have to win ___ games.

          • 25 games.
            I know that is asking a lot, but I just dont see many victories from starters 3-5.

          • I’m not gonna start a wins-are-a-poor-stat argument, but I really don’t think you can put a number on something like that.

            How many games in which AJ starts must the team win? Thats a little easier to handle, and I think the answer has to be at least 15. If the team can win half the games our #1 pitcher starts against the top arms of other teams, then they have a chance.

            I really think that the Bucs can put up some runs against non-elite pitching. They have the power to do it. If the back end of the rotation can just keep them in games, 3-4 run performances, then the team will win as many as they lose.

    • Milo

      I hope you are wrong about this, but I tend to agree with you. Let’s see where the Bucs are at next Tuesday and revisit this issue.

    • Milo

      I hope you are wrong about this, but I tend to agree with you. Let’s see where the Bucs are at next Tuesday and revisit this issue.

  28. For anyone who missed it above:

    “I think if the Pirates go for loss #82 on a Monday, DK will find a way to work on his off-day.”

    DK: I might. But not if my mother were having heart surgery in a couple days and I elected instead to spend a rare scheduled off day visiting with her in the hospital.

    Everyone cut Dejan a break, and if you’re the praying type, send up some for his Mother.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled chat !

  29. OK here goes the blog again…posting things out of sync.

  30. DK, not excited about Jonathan Dwyer as our starting RB? I still think we have more pressing needs than RB to address with the draft. So, my vote would be neither.

  31. bah, someone broke the blog posting again.

  32. Bradshaw. No doubt. I say it all the time that it sucks to draft a running back in the first round. Look how well Mendenhall worked out. Good ones can be found anywhere. Bradshaw himself was a 7th round pick.

  33. DK, prayers to you and your Mom.

    Do you also say Christos Anesti for your Orthodox Easter?
    I have friends who do, thats why I ask…….

  34. I watched the Blackhawks destroy Detroit on Sunday. I’m telling you now…the Pens don’t want to see Chicago. They are to fast. they play at a ridiculous pace. The Pens have a hard time against quick teams like the Islanders and TB. They might as well be wearing roller skates compared to Chicago.

    At full health, roster to roster, only way the Pens beat Chicago in a 7 game series is if MAF plays at his absolute best. The only advantage they have over Chicago is in net.

    • It’s not that the Pens aren’t talented enough to play the Blackhawks, it’s just that the Hawks know exactly what their roles are for each of their four lines…and they’ve been playing together for the entire season to the best of my knowledge.
      The Pens are still shuffling guys around trying to see who fits best where…..even on their second line.
      Come playoff time, role confusion can be deadly.

      • I didnt mean to sound like the Blackhawks are more talented all-around. Its a push really. Pretty even. I just don’t like the matchup. Its a style the Pens struggle against.

      • I’m not sold on the Hawks goaltending. And the Pens should be able to physically pound the Hawks over a 7 game series. Assuming everyone is healthy, especially Sid & Geno, Pens should win.

        • Agree. We have an advantage in Net v Chi.
          (Though we said that last year!)

          Really at this point – can we just win a couple rounds????

          Plenty of time yet to worry about Hawks LOL!!

        • Pens-Blackhawks cup final would be an NHL dream for the TV ratings but
          the league will find a way to screw it up somehow.

          • I think The Ducks and Montreal will mess it up before the league will.

            Ducks have the ‘Hawks number this year. And Therrien’s system flat out wins in May/June. Solid defense + Carey Price will be a VERY tough 7 game series.

  35. @RobRossi_Trib 5m #TribHKY >> No blue uniforms tonite for #pens


  36. @Real_ESPNLeBrun 2m

    Told the Dallas Stars have decided to trade Jaromir Jagr. My sense is Boston leads the list of front-runners

  37. Robinson Cano has fired his agent Scott Boras & replaced him with Jay-Z. I guess Lil Wayne wasn’t available. Or Gary Sheffield for that matter.

  38. Updates from the Pens:

    Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few updates…
    •Sidney Crosby left the hospital Monday afternoon
    •Kris Letang skated on his own prior to morning skate
    •Vokoun starting in net; Rest of lineup is game-time

    Oh, and Sid left the hospital Monday afternoon :)

  39. You know, until someone actually decides to fix this thing I’m outta here.

  40. Easter blessings and prayers, Dejan, to your Mom on successful surgery and a speedy recovery, and to your family.

  41. It’s only one game, but I sure got that “old Nutting Regime” feeling during the Pirate opener yesterday.
    There’s something about it that wreaks of a county fair, instead of a MLB event.
    It’s sometimes hard to put your finger on….But it usually ends with an “L”.

  42. A thought on Rushel Shell… Not that I’m one to think that a college football coach would ever make promises (sarcasm) but with this transfer announcement I wonder what kind of “promises” the snake made to get Shell to commit to Pitt. It may or may not have been financial promises but could have been something to the likes of our offense will be built around you; you’ll get the ball 25 times a game etc.

    This change of heart really makes me wonder about his recruitment. If I’m Pitt ASU is on the no transfer list.

    • I’m certainly on the outside looking in, but his initial recruitment always seemed to be more about his personal life than his football life. Not a knock on PITT – they certainly have shown they can produce an NFL-caliber running back – just the whispers that were going around.

      Hard to tell if the transfer is a continuation of that, as in him wanting to get away. Or if he’s finally putting football first. Either way, I feel for the guy. And PITT.

  43. In an odd trade the Lightning have traded D Marc Andre-Bergeron to Carolina for Adam Hall and a 7th RD pick.

    The Hurricanes had just claimed Hall off waivers from Tampa 2 weeks ago.

  44. Just stated on Pens Twitter:

    Vokoun starting in goal vs. BUF. Rest of lineup is game-time

  45. Mark Letestu has signed a 2 year extension with Columbus. He has 44 points in 85 games with the Blue Jackets; or 44 more points than Tanner Glass has with the Pens.

  46. Based on this morning skate, lines appear to be:

    Kunitz – Kennedy – Dupuis
    Iginla – Malkin – Neal
    Morrow – Sutter – Cooke
    Glass – Jeffrey – Adams
    Scratched: Vitale

    Orpik – Eaton
    Murray – Niskanen
    Engelland – Despres

    I’m ok with these lines. Still really curious to see how the TK at center experiment works out, but I’ve seen crazier decisions this year (Neal on the point of the PP). I like the defensive pairs.

    If only Vitale could work on the PK, I think he easily plays on the 4th line every game allowing the Pens to move Jeffrey to the first line, Kennedy to 4th line wing, and Glass get’s the scratch, but because Vitale doesn’t PK and Glass does, Glass has to stay in there

  47. Anyone want to revise their prediction for the Pirates 2013 record? I said 74 wins and now wonder if I overesitmated it.

  48. Jagr has been dealt to the Bruins for 2 prospects and a draft pick.

  49. Dallas deals Derek Roy to Vancouver for a 2nd round pick and a prospect

  50. Bobrovsky is 1-3 in his last 4 starts. 5 goals given up in one game and 4 in another. I think there is a goalie in Pittsburgh playing better

    • Roberto…. Bottom line… 1-3 in his last 4 starts with games of 5 goals and 4 goals allowed. He had a great few weeks but to say he is the best goalie in the league right now is silly.

  51. Is anyone here? No posts since 11 or so showing up

  52. Jagr goes to Boston for two prospects/picks

    • Anyone else think that is high? Can’t believe a 41 yr old goal scorer would be worth that much assets. Makes me curious about the assets. Anyone have anymore details on this trade? What round was the pick? Quality prospects? This has got to be it for Jagr, right? Cant see him out-doing teemu.

      • Looking at what Dallas has done in the Roy and Morrow trades they acquired a defenseman and a pick, looks like Joe could be following the Shero lead and stock piling defensive prospects. Or he could be pulling a NH and giving up players for other teams once prized prospects.

      • Well, I do know Claude Giroux was lost without Jagr…so who can say for sure???
        I know this tho, Boston can have him, I don’t want him!

      • No way he outdoes Teemu!

  53. Hello fellow Fanatics — I just saw this on Twitter, retweeted by DK from Rushel Shell:

    “I don’t owe this city anything period y’all make accusations but don’t know the facts but keep doing what you do best!”

    Interesting. First comments I saw from Rushel Shell. Thought I’d post this since his departure from Pitt was in the wake-up call.

    • He does not owe the city anything. The city isn’t the one the gave him a full scholarship and a chance to be the feature back on a team headed to the ACC. I wish him and Todd Graham all the best.

      • I have no feelings either way as to who he owes or doesn’t owe. And obviously it’s between him and Pitt. I’m just surprised that he would put something out there about not owing the Pittsburgh community anything. Not something smart for a Pittsburgh kid to say, especially insinuating that the Pittsburgh community’s talking without being informed is “what they do best.” Yes, good luck with Graham.

  54. make no mistake. The game yesterday resulted in an ‘L’ in the win/loss column, but a ‘W’ in the nutting bank account. Butts were in the seats, people were eating tons of junk food and enjoying the carnival-like atmosphere. Most fans didn’t expect to see a win but rather wanted to be part of the carnival. Bob Nutting thrives on this type of fan and atmosphere.

    This is an organization which continues to “improve” on their recordbreaking futility streak and which went down in flames last season in never been seen before fashion and did nothing to improve the club.

    What was the big story in the local PG last week? The new food and drink options at the “‘ol ball yard”

    This is a sham… a disgrace…

    • This argument is so old and it’s not even the 2nd game of the season.

    • You should head over to the PG website and post on smizik’s blog. There are no standards over there. Take Bazzinni with you

      • HAHAHA, if only you knew, my friend. If only you knew.

        • If you are referring to the smizik blog I know all to well

          • It’s like grandpa decided to start a blog but you can’t argue his point of view without being deleted and then publicly mocked. Everything else is a free for all over there.

            • Ha, ahh come on. I have a hard time giving the ole badger any grief. Amazing he’s still that papers most interactive columnist without even working full time.

              It is rather funny that Daq and BFD try their same name games over here and everybody just ignores them until they quietly go away. The other blog would’ve erupted in the same tired argument by now.

              • I find it comical the flop flopping NMR does on a daily basis…..

              • NMR its hilarious that these jokers come over here and try to post the same crap over here that they post over there. Its like they are begging for attention. I bet their wives don’t listen to them either.

            • TJ- Is this your blog?

    • why not go to opening day? Atleast you can say you went to a game while they weren’t below .500. Right?

  55. Carson Palmer officially dealt to the Cards. Man do the Raiders make some bad trades. Then again you could argue he didn’t have much talent to work with at WR

  56. @NMR

    I really think the best thing that could happen for our franchise is Slick Frank moving on elsewhere.

    On a personal front, a rough birthday yesterday, had a nice time with AW at the game, froze my arse off. Got to the car, got a phone call from one of my sisters, my nephew overdosed over the weekend. Please give a hug to your kids/family and if you can, tell the story and reinforce to them that drugs can truly kill. Timmy was only 22.

    • Can’t tell you how sorry I am, Biz.

      I’m lucky enough to be on the positive side of addiction with a loved one. Still scares me every day, though.

    • Biz, oh! How terrible! 22 is waayyy too young….my prayers for your sister and her family, and you too. :(

    • Thanks, I can’t imagine what my youngest sister and her family are going through right now.

      I can’t believe it myself. Stuck in traffic after calling my daughter-in-law to tell her what happened, I honestly thought, did I just hallucinate that call??

      After my wife passed and before I met Cathy, Timmy, Sammy (my Godson) and I went to the ballpark with a 20 game ticket plan for several years.

      Then I lost track of him, he was living no more than 10 miles away.

      He was a great person, just got caught in the wrong direction

      Just give your kids/family/friends the message, ok?

  57. Anybody still interested in talking baseball…

    Just did a little searching and found that Jeff Samardija has the 5th lowest ERA of any NL starter since last June. That’s a guy who has humbled a lot better hitting teams than our Buccos.

    Clint Hurdle’s lineup defense struck me as odd, but not because of this silly must-start-travis-snider-to-see-what-he-can-do narrative. They were odd because Jose Tabata wasn’t mentioned once. And I’m going to conveniently ignore the fact that he actually admitted to using spring training stats to make ANY decision, and thus save the little respect I have left for his managing ability.

  58. @ Bizrow

    Funny thing is, looking at the performance of the Triumvarate of “Julius” Huntington, “Pompey” Hurdle and “Crassus” Coonelly, probably the one w/ the best ON THE JOB performance is Coonelly. The team is selling tickets, people are happy. Yet Hurdle has one winning season out of 11 as manager, and Huntington still has a worse win percentage than Littlefield.

    If he drunk drove the lawnmower out onto the field during the seventh inning stretch, I’d probably have to change my ranking


  59. Posting at 7:03 PM

    The blog was certainly confusing today, and hard to follow. Is anyone working on this?

    Rooting for TK tonight.


  60. My 7:03 PM post appeared just before a 8:30 AM post. What gives?


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